Niall Horan beat out Zayn Malik for Favorite Breakout Artist at the People’s Choice Awards, but we still love them both

When the nominations came out for the 2017 People’s Choice Awards, we all knew it was going to be interesting when we saw the Favorite Breakout Artist category. Why? Well, not only did we see one of our favourite new artists, Alessia Cara, on the list, but we were going to get to see two former One Direction members, Niall Horan and Zayn, square off against each other in some friendly competition.

We’re big fans of everyone in this category, but this year, Horan took home the award for Favorite Breakout Artist and we’re super happy for him and his first venture into a solo career!

The 23-year-old singer beat out Cara, Zayn, The Chainsmokers and DNCE. But, in our opinion, they’re all incredibly amazing artists — awards or not!

What’s interesting about this category is that both former One Direction members have already been nominated for other categories in the past as a group, so they’re not “break out” performers in the usual sense of the phrase. Joe Jonas of DNCE is another example if this tricky nomination loophole.

Huge congrats to all the winners this year! We’re excited for all the repeat-worthy tunes sure to come from all the nominees.